When it comes to starting a limited liability company (LLC), finding the right platform to handle the legal aspects of the process is crucial.
Two popular options that often come up in the discussion are BizFilings and LegalZoom. These online services have gained significant recognition for their ability to simplify the LLC formation process and provide a range of additional business services. The question is, which one is the better choice for your specific needs?
BizFilings vs LegalZoom for LLC Comparison Chart
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Starting Price||$99 + state filing fees||$0 + state filing fees|
|Free Registered Agent Services||Yes, first 6 months free||No|
|Turnaround Times||4 to 6 weeks on basic plan, 7 to 10 days on advanced plans + expedited filing available||Up to 30 days on basic plan, up to 15 days on middle-tier plan, 7 to 10 days on top-tier plan|
|Customer Support||Phone, email, chat||Phone, email|
BizFilings Company Overview
BizFilings is a well-established online legal service provider that specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small business owners form their companies with ease. With over two decades of experience in the industry, it has gained a reputation for delivering reliable and efficient business formation services.
Founded in 1996, BizFilings has assisted over 500,000 entrepreneurs in starting their LLCs, corporations and other business entities. The company aims to simplify the complex process of business formation, offering comprehensive solutions that cater to the unique needs of each client.
LegalZoom Company Overview
LegalZoom is a prominent online legal service provider that has revolutionized the way individuals and businesses handle their legal needs. Since its inception in 1999, it has become a household name, offering a wide range of services to simplify legal processes and make them more accessible to the general public.
The company was founded with the goal of providing affordable and convenient legal services to individuals and small businesses. Over the years, it has helped more than 4 million customers with forming LLCs, incorporating businesses, drafting legal documents and even trademark registration.
First and foremost, what makes BizFilings stand out is it throws in six months of free registered agent services, and that includes its starting plan, which starts at $99 + state filing fees. However, its Basic package includes only the essential formation features without any bells and whistles. In its defense, it does offer a ton of resources, and along with its incorporation wizard, it makes the entire process user-friendly.
On the other hand, LegalZoom boasts relatively lower charges to get your business started. After all, its Basic tier starts at $0 + state filing fees. Even then, it already covers all you need to file your LLC, including the articles of organization and business filing, as well as name checking. All in all, it makes forming a business convenient and hassle-free. That said, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t include free registered agent services in any of its packages.
Long story short, BizFiling’s entry-level plan provides a lot of bang for the buck, mostly owing to its free registered agent services for six months. However, LegalZoom’s offering starts at $0, and yet it’s comprehensive to the point that it more or less has everything required to form an LLC.
Registered Agent Services
As noted, BizFilings includes six months’ worth of free registered agent services in its basic package, thereby taking the lead in this regard. This means that during the initial stages of forming your LLC, you won’t have to worry about the additional expense of securing a registered agent. What’s more, its renewal fee clocks in at $220 per year after the six-month period, which is a competitive price point.
Again, LegalZoom does not include free registered agent services in any of its packages, and it costs $299 a year. However, if you’re availing any one of its LLC plans, that figure does go down to $249 annually. Sure, it’s far from being the most affordable among its counterparts, but it’s still a welcome discount.
Considering the importance of having a registered agent for your LLC, BizFilings is a more appealing choice for those seeking efficient and cost-effective LLC formation. Having a registered agent is crucial as they act as the liaison between your business and the state, ensuring that you receive important legal and tax documents in a timely manner.
On the basic plan of BizFilings, the turnaround time is about four to six weeks. This is reduced to seven to 10 days with its Standard and Complete subscriptions. Moreover, the higher tiers give access to expedited filing. Though it costs an additional fee that varies by state, it does cut the total time needed to between 24 and 48 hours, but it’s available only in certain areas. In other words, the speed of formation mainly depends on what package you choose.
It’s the same story with LegalZoom in that its turnaround times vary depending on which plan you avail. For instance, its Basic package will take about 30 business days to process your LLC formation application, but its highest-tier will drop that number down to about seven to 10 days.
When comparing BizFilings and LegalZoom in terms of turnaround time, it’s worth noting that neither platform is the fastest option available.
Ease of Use
As mentioned earlier, BizFilings features a incorporation wizard tool. Basically, it helps you determine which entity is more suitable for your situation (i.e., an LLC or a corporation). Also, its website is designed in a way that crucial info is easily accessible, and it’s intuitive overall, making the sign-up process as easy as 1-2-3. While there are a few upsells to look out for, the company isn’t aggressive about them.
In contrast, LegalZoom makes it a bit hard to register, as it’ll require you to input some personal info before it even shows you its available packages. Besides that, you’ll have to keep an eye out for numerous upsells along the way. Despite that, its website is organized well, so you’re unlikely to get lost during the process.
BizFilings offers chat, email and phone support, and its representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT from Mondays to Fridays. Additionally, there’s a way to leave a message via a button on the left-hand side of the screen on every page of its website. In short, it’s easy to get in touch with the company, and its team is as professional as it gets, going out of its way to provide extra but useful info based on your situation.
As for LegalZoom, it’s also a breeze getting in contact with its support team, which is available through phone and email. What’s more, it’s available from Mondays to Fridays between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. PT, as well as on weekends between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT. While it does take a while for it to respond via email (about a week), its customer support through phone does a bang-up job in answering your queries and offering additional info. Its extended schedule of availability is simply the cherry on top of the cake.
Why choose BizFilings
Experience and Reputation: BizFilings has been in the business of LLC formation for over 25 years, establishing a strong reputation as a trusted and reliable service provider. Its extensive experience ensures that you’re in capable hands when it comes to forming your LLC.
User-Friendly Platform: BizFilings offers a user-friendly platform that simplifies the LLC formation process. Its website features an intuitive interface and interactive tools, making it easy to navigate and understand the steps involved in forming your LLC.
Free Registered Agent Service: BizFilings stands out by offering six months of free registered agent service with its packages. Having a registered agent is essential for legal compliance, and the company makes it more accessible by including it in its formation packages.
Why choose LegalZoom
Established Reputation: LegalZoom is a well-known and reputable service provider in the realm of LLC formation. With over 20 years of experience, it has assisted millions of customers in starting their businesses, earning a trusted reputation in the industry.
Comprehensive Packages: LegalZoom offers comprehensive LLC formation packages that include all the necessary features to get your business up and running. From preparing articles of organization to drafting operating agreements, its packages cover the essential legal documents needed for your LLC.
$0 Starting Price: LegalZoom offers competitive pricing options for LLC formation, offering a basic plan that starts at $0 + state filing fees.
Benefits of Forming an LLC
Limited Liability Protection: One of the key advantages of forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the protection it provides to the owners, known as members. By establishing an LLC, members’ personal assets are generally shielded from business liabilities and debts. This means that if the LLC faces legal issues or financial obligations, members’ personal assets, such as homes or savings, are typically protected.
Pass-Through Taxation: LLCs offer the benefit of pass-through taxation, which means that the business itself does not pay taxes. Instead, profits and losses are “passed through” to the individual members, who report them on their personal tax returns. This avoids the double taxation that can occur with other business entities, such as corporations.
Flexibility in Management and Ownership: LLCs provide flexibility in terms of management and ownership structures. Members have the freedom to define the management structure and decide how the company will be governed. Additionally, LLCs can have a single member or multiple members, allowing for easier ownership transitions and the inclusion of multiple stakeholders.
Simplified Compliance Requirements: Compared to other business entities, LLCs generally have fewer compliance obligations and formalities. The paperwork and reporting requirements for an LLC are typically less burdensome, making it easier for small businesses to maintain legal compliance.
Credibility and Professionalism: Forming an LLC can lend credibility and professionalism to your business. It shows potential customers, partners and investors that you have taken the necessary steps to establish a legally recognized entity. This can enhance your business’s reputation and instill confidence in your stakeholders.
Operational Flexibility: LLCs offer operational flexibility in terms of how the business is structured and operated. Members have the flexibility to create their own operating agreements, which outline how the company will be managed, how profits and losses will be distributed and other important guidelines. This allows members to customize the internal workings of the business to suit their specific needs and preferences.
To reiterate, BizFilings sets itself apart by offering free registered agent services for six months in its packages. Needless to say, this can help you save money, but more importantly, it provides support for legal compliance from the get-go. Also, its user-friendly platform and interactive tools make the LLC formation process easy.
Now LegalZoom boasts a solid reputation built over 20 years of service. Its comprehensive LLC formation packages cover all the necessary features, including drafting essential legal documents. The company’s modern website offers an intuitive user experience, and it provides customization options to cater to individual business needs. Moreover, its additional services, such as trademark registration and legal advice, add a ton of value to their offerings.
All things considered, if you prioritize the inclusion of free registered agent services, BizFilings may be the better choice for you. However, if you value an established reputation, comprehensive packages, customization options and additional legal services, LegalZoom may just be your best bet for LLC formation.